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Round 4: Missed golden opportunities

Arab Individual Championship – Dubai 2021

Round 4: Missed golden opportunities

‘Chess is a hard game’ is a true proverb whatever they say to you. If you don’t agree, just look at today’s games. Hard fights, golden opportunities to win, or to equalize, spent here and there, time trouble over all boards, unnoticed blunders and more. Even if you have a free day to analyze one game, this will not suffice. Even with the help of your silicon friend, you will spend hours and hours with your eyes wide open to the variations and the suggested moves that can turn the evaluation of the current analyzed position 180 degrees. In my opinion, this is the result of the yesterday’s tiring 2 rounds a day. And all the players will have to cross that path of pain tomorrow (round 5+6). (Check my yesterday’s report).

Let’s start with the nice game played by Akram, as Black, against the Algerian IM Ali Nassr. His sacrifice of the exchange was brilliant. Although his mistake on move 21 (…Ne5?) gave the Algerian master the chance to consolidate somewhat his position, Akram succeeded in worrying his opponent, reaching an unbalanced position, forcing the later to repeat the moves, and splitting the point.

The King’s Indian Attack adopted by Amr against his Bahraini FM Maher Ayyad was a good choice, as it required from the later some precise opening moves to guarantee his share of chances in the coming middle game struggle. He succeeded in doing so to a certain extent, but the pressure made by Amr’s moves on his opponent’s position resulted in winning a pawn, and chances to covert his extra material in a heavy pieces middle game. The technique adopted by Amr was of high quality, as his pressure on the Black’s king was too high, resulting in collecting the game point.

Faisal’ Stonewall setup against the Syrian IM Bashir Eiti was again a successful choice, as he dominated his opponent most of the time. His unfortunate exchange of his dark-squared bishop for the white f4-knight gave the Syrian player the opportunity to get a strong initiative on the queen side. Faisal switched his attention to the critical sector, the king side, and succeeded in creating threats there, helped with his wonderful e2-bone-pawn which was well supported by his white-squared bishop. What was needed is to spot the stroke (35…Rxg3!!) which was based on the tactical deflection motive, profiting from the weakness of the white’s first rank. Instead, he made a different move, letting this golden opportunity to run away, and with it the game point. Although the game continued for another 40 moves or so, he tried hard to save the half point, but Bashir was up to the task. I am sure that if Faisal made that 35th stroke-like move, his game could enter the chapter (the best combination – deflection and back rank mat) (I dislike the frustrating [missing combinations] title in books on tactics, though if this position is going to appear there, I could change my mind).

The Belgrade Gambit of the Scotch opening, transposed later to the 2 knights’ defense, was the opening choice of Maya against the Algerian WIM Sabrina Latreche. Some imprecise moves by Maya gave Sabrina the advantage. After some maneuvering play, Maya succeeded in directing her forces to the kingside. Caissa, the goddess of chess, smiled to Maya twice. The first moment was when the Algerian player blundered on her 32nd move (…Qe7??), which could turn the table if Maya played (33 QxQ RxQ 34. Bh4) winning the exchange. Sadly, Maya missed this golden chance.

The second moment occurred on the 39th move, when Maya missed the stroke (39.Nf6!!) which, if played, will lead to perpetual check. Unfortunately, she missed this one too, chose a different move and with it the chance to save half point evaporated.

[Event "Arab Individual Women Championship 2021"]
[Site "?"]
[Date "2021.11.28"]
[Round "4"]
[White "Jalloul, Maya"]
[Black "Latreche, Sabrina"]
[Result "0-1"]
[ECO "C56"]
[WhiteElo "1861"]
[BlackElo "2091"]
[Annotator "Kayle,Charles"]
[PlyCount "102"]
[SourceVersionDate "2012.10.13"]

1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. d4 exd4 4. Bc4 Nf6 5. e5 d5 6. Bb5
Ne4 7. Nxd4 Bc5 8. Be3 Bd7 9. Bxc6 bxc6 10. Nd2 Nxd2 11. Qxd2 Qe7 12. O-O O-O
13. Rae1 $6 (13. Rfe1 Rfb8 14. c3) 13… Bb6 14. f4 c5 15. Ne2 d4 $17 16. Bf2
Rad8 17. b3 a5 18. a4 Bc8 19. Qd3 Qe6 20. Rd1 Bb7 21. Rfe1 Qg4 22. Qg3 Qf5 23.
Rd2 Be4 24. Rc1 h6 25. Qh4 Qg6 26. Ng3 f5 27. Re1 Bd5 28. Qh5 Qe6 29. Red1 Kh7
30. Qh4 Rd7 31. Nh5 Rfd8 $19 32. Rd3 Qe7 $4 (32… Be4 33. Rh3 Rf8 $19) 33. Qh3
(33. Qxe7 Rxe7 34. Bh4 $16) 33… Rf8 34. Rg3 Qd8 35. Rg5 Be4 36. Rd2 Kh8 37.
Rg6 Qe8 38. Qg3 Rg8 39. Kf1 (39. Nf6 $1 gxf6 40. Rxh6+ Rh7 41. Rxh7+ Kxh7 42.
Qh4+ Kg7 43. Qxf6+ Kh7 44. Qh4+ Kg7 45. Qf6+ $11) 39… Kh7 40. e6 Qxg6 41.
exd7 Qxh5 42. Qh4 Qxh4 43. Bxh4 c6 44. Be7 g5 45. fxg5 hxg5 46. d8=Q Bxd8 47.
Bxc5 Bf6 48. Bb6 Ra8 49. g3 Kg6 50. Ke2 Re8 51. Kd1 Bf3+ 0-1

[Event "Arab Individual Open Championship 2021"]
[Site "?"]
[Date "2021.11.28"]
[Round "4"]
[White "Nasser, Ali"]
[Black "Khoder, Akram"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[ECO "D94"]
[WhiteElo "2269"]
[BlackElo "1963"]
[Annotator "Kayle,Charles"]
[PlyCount "69"]
[SourceVersionDate "2012.10.13"]

1. Nf3 Nf6 2. c4 g6 3. Nc3 d5 4. e3 Bg7 5. Be2 O-O 6. O-O c6 7. d4 dxc4 8.
Bxc4 Nfd7 9. e4 Nb6 10. Be2 Bg4 11. Be3 Bxf3 12. Bxf3 Nc4 13. Qe2 Nxe3 14. fxe3
$15 c5 15. e5 cxd4 (15… Nc6) 16. Bxb7 dxc3 17. Bxa8 cxb2 18. Qxb2 Nd7 19.
Rad1 Bxe5 20. Qb7 Bd6 21. Qxa7 Ne5 $2 (21… Qxa8 22. Qxd7 Qxa2 $11) 22. Bf3
Qc8 23. Qd4 $16 Rd8 24. Bd5 Qc7 25. Kh1 Rb8 26. Bb3 Rb4 27. Rc1 Qb8 28. Qc3 Qb6
29. Qc8+ Kg7 30. Bxf7 Qxe3 31. Bb3 Rf4 32. Rxf4 $2 $11 (32. Qh3 $18) 32… Qxf4
33. Qc3 Kh6 34. Qh3+ Kg7 35. Qc3 1/2-1/2

[Event "Arab Individual Open Championship 2021"]
[Site "?"]
[Date "2021.11.28"]
[Round "4"]
[White "Eiti, Bashir"]
[Black "Khairallah, Faisal"]
[Result "0-1"]
[ECO "A40"]
[WhiteElo "2334"]
[BlackElo "2247"]
[Annotator "Kayle,Charles"]
[PlyCount "154"]
[SourceVersionDate "2012.10.13"]

1. d4 e6 2. Nd2 d5 3. e3
f5 4. c4 Nf6 5. b3 c6 6. g3 Bd6 7. Bb2 O-O 8. Bg2 Nbd7 9. Ne2 b5 10. O-O Ne4
11. Nf4 Qe7 12. cxb5 cxb5 13. Rc1 b4 $15 14. Nxe4 fxe4 15. Bh3 Rf6 16. f3 Ba6
17. Rf2 $17 Bxf4 $2 (17… Rh6 18. Bg4 exf3 19. Bxf3 Nf6 $15) 18. exf4 Rh6 19.
Bg2 e3 20. Rfc2 e2 21. Qd2 Nb6 $2 (21… Rf6 22. Bh3 g5 $132) 22. Rc7 $16 Qf8
23. R7c5 Qf5 24. Qxb4 Qd3 25. Qc3 Qd1+ 26. Qe1 Qd3 27. R5c3 Qxd4+ 28. Kh1 Rf8
$14 29. R3c2 Qd3 30. Rd2 Qf5 31. Bd4 $2 (31. Rc7 $16) 31… Rg6 32. Rc7 Rf7 33.
Rc5 h5 34. Ra5 Bd3 35. h4 $4 $19 Rc7 $2 $18 (35… Rxg3 $3 36. Qxg3 Qxf4 37.
Qe1 Qxd4 $19) 36. Kh2 Rh6 37. Bh3 Qh7 38. Be5 Rf7 39. Kg2 Nd7 40. Rxa7 Nxe5 41.
Ra8+ $11 Rf8 42. Rxf8+ Kxf8 43. fxe5 Bf5 $2 $18 (43… Qg6 $11) (43… Kf7 $11)
44. Bxf5 Qxf5 45. Qxe2 g5 46. Rd4 Rg6 47. Qe3 Kg8 48. hxg5 Rxg5 49. g4 Qxe5 50.
Qxe5 Rxe5 51. Kf2 hxg4 52. Rxg4+ Kf7 53. a4 Ke7 54. a5 Kd8 55. Rg7 Kc8 56. b4
Kb8 57. Re7 Ka8 58. Rd7 Rh5 59. Rd6 Rh2+ 60. Ke3 Rb2 61. Ra6+ Kb7 62. Rb6+ Kc7
63. f4 Rb1 64. Kd4 Rd1+ 65. Kc3 Rc1+ 66. Kb3 d4 67. Rb5 Rc3+ 68. Kb2 Rf3 69.
Rc5+ Kd6 70. a6 Rxf4 71. Rc8 Rf7 72. b5 Ra7 73. Kb3 Kd7 74. Rh8 Kc7 75. Kc4 Kb6
76. Rb8+ Kc7 77. Re8 Kd7 0-1

[Event "Arab Individual Open Championship 2021"]
[Site "?"]
[Date "2021.11.28"]
[Round "4"]
[White "El Jawich, Amro"]
[Black "Ayyad, Maher"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "C00"]
[WhiteElo "2309"]
[BlackElo "2064"]
[Annotator "Kayle,Charles"]
[PlyCount "105"]
[SourceVersionDate "2012.10.13"]

1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 e6 3. d3 Nc6 4. g3 d5 5. Qe2 Nf6 6. Bg2 Be7 7. O-O O-O 8.
e5 Nd7 9. c4 f6 10. exf6 Nxf6 11. Bf4 Bd6 12. Bxd6 Qxd6 13. Re1 Bd7 14. Nc3 a6
15. Rad1 Rae8 (15… b5 16. cxb5 axb5 17. Nxb5 Qb8 18. Na3 Qb6 $44) 16. d4 $1
$14 cxd4 17. Nxd4 Nxd4 18. Rxd4 Qc5 19. Red1 Bc6 20. cxd5 exd5 21. Qd2 Ne4 22.
Nxe4 dxe4 23. Re1 Re5 24. Bxe4 Rfe8 25. Rc1 Qb6 26. Bxc6 $16 bxc6 27. Rf4 h6
28. Qc3 c5 29. b3 Rd5 30. Qc4 Qe6 31. Rc3 Kh8 32. Rcf3 Rd1+ 33. Kg2 Qc6 34. Rf5
Rc8 35. Qf4 Rdd8 36. Rf7 Rd4 37. Qf5 c4 38. bxc4 Rxc4 39. h4 Rc5 40. Qg4 Rg8
41. Qd4 Rc1 42. Qd7 Qc4 43. Qd3 Qc6 44. Kh2 Re1 45. Rf8 Qc1 46. Rxg8+ Kxg8 47.
Qd5+ Kh7 48. Rf8 Qb1 49. Qg8+ Kg6 50. Qf7+ Kh7 51. Qg8+ Kg6 52. h5+ Kxh5 53.
Qf7+ 1-0